So I’ve been sick for basically the last three and a half weeks, much of the time the kind of sick where you’re really only fit for lying on the sofa and drinking hot tea. (I’m still not completely over it, but I have returned to functionality.) Now, usually when I get sick, I like to cut myself some slack for a few days, rest up, push fluids and recover, and then get back into the swing of things. This works pretty well for your average 5-7 day cold. Not so much with a three week fucker of a virus. This past month, even when I’ve been feeling my worst, I’ve still had to take care of the girls, ferry people around to preschool and playgroups, run errands, teach classes, go to meetings, etc. I’ve canceled when and where I could, but my life is currently arranged such that there’s not a lot of wiggle room for cancellations. I have, in other words, been “pushing through” and “soldiering on,” even though I am really not a “soldiering on” kind of squab. More of a “civilian-ing off” kind of one, actually.
The unpleasant side-effect of this unwonted stoicism has been that I’ve been madder than a wet hen pretty much all month. I mean, ANGRY. Angry about everything. Angry that I can’t get un-sick, angry that the weather is so damn cold and wet, angry that we don’t have any money and the kids need winter coats and boots and none of my shoes fit since the baby and all my clothes are cheap and ill-fitting, angry that being tired and sick all the time makes me an ill-tempered and impatient parent, angry that I haven’t gotten any writing done in weeks and months, angry that I don’t get any sick days, angry that I feel like I’m half-assing everything I do, as a parent, as a wife, as a teacher, as a friend, angry that I’m being whiny and annoying all the time, angryangryangry. And I guess maybe anger is a better response to crap than depression, but not by much.
So as I usually do when I’m having a problem, after stewing on it unproductively and no doubt alienating my friends with my bitching, I talked about it with Mr. Squab. “I’m angry all the time,” I said, “and I know it’s not fair, because you’re already doing more than your share, and I feel terrible about that all the time too, but I can’t keep being angry like this.” And we talked about ways that I could get some kind of break if I really need one, and things to do to make me feel less crazy, and Mr. Squab said all the things that truly superior partners say and I felt like, okay, I can make it through this. I can’t be sick forever, and things will be all right.
The next night (Friday) Mr. Squab sprained his ankle trying to avoid stepping on the cat.
Saturday the Hatchling had a complete breakdown while we were at an out of town birthday celebration, and we spent two hours at a local urgent care clinic diagnosing a raging ear infection.
Today I woke up with the entire right side of my head stuffed up, and the Sprout is either coming down with something or teething.
Breaks. I would like one.